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Finding a reliable midsize SUV doesn’t have to be impossible, but it can take some searching. The sport utility vehicles from Mazda and Toyota have a long history of dependability on the market and generally have lower ownership costs. Only three SUVs have annual repair costs under $500, but most vehicles come under $600.

SUVs with annual repair costs under $500 include the Mazda CX-5

When RepairPal ranked some of the most reliable midsize SUVs, the Mazda CX-5 was among the top 10. Midsize SUVs earned a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5.0, while the CX-5 earned a 4.5 out of 5.0. Drivers like the Mazda for its sporty but comfortable drive and upscale interior.

To get these numbers, RepairPal’s official reliability rating is a “measurement of vehicle dependability based on the cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance.” This looks at vehicles from 2010 through 2019 and surveys drivers to get more accurate ownership costs.

Analysis showed that the CX-5 was an SUV with annual repair costs under $500, averaging $447. This also showed that the Mazda SUV had to go into the shop unexpectedly less frequently than the average midsize SUV. The probability of it needing a significant repair is only around 8%, compared to an average of 12% for all vehicles.

Toyota’s Venza is another SUV with annual repair costs under $500

If the Toyota Venza wasn’t on your list of reliable midsize SUVs, it should be now. Toyota’s Venza is also an SUV with annual repair costs under $500, coming in at $444 annually. That is the lowest amount out of any midsize SUVs analyzed. It has a long history of reliability that many drivers are looking for, but it is also an affordable option.

The Venza earned a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, above average for the segment. It did have to go into the shop more frequently than some of the competition, coming in at 0.47 times per year compared to 0.40 for all vehicles. However, the probability that an issue is major is 10% compared to 13% for midsize SUVs. Toyota is known to make dependable vehicles, and the Venza is one of the cheapest to maintain.

The Toyota Highlander is a reliable midsize SUV

SUVs with annual repair costs under $500 include this Toyota Highlander
A 2008 Toyota Highlander | Stan Honda/AFP via Getty Images

In the world of dependable SUVs, the Toyota Highlander is ranked at the top. Toyota SUVs generally have a long history of reliability, but the Highlander is a good option that doesn’t cost a lot in repairs. RepairPal found that this Toyota SUV has annual repair costs under $500, coming in at $489.

The Toyota Highlander received a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, with lower-than-average ownership costs. Highlander owners also had to bring the sport utility vehicle into the shop less frequently than usual. That amount occurred 0.3 times yearly compared to 0.4 times yearly for all midsize SUVs. The severity of repairs was 13%, which happens to be pretty average.

Overall, these are the SUVs with annual repair costs under $500. That’s about as cheap as it gets for midsize SUVs, but some compact or small options might be less expensive. Consumer Reports has tips on finding a high-quality repair shop if you don’t want to take it to a local dealership.


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